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Open AccessArticle

Role of Manganese Oxyhydroxides in the Transport of Rare Earth Elements Along a Groundwater Flow Path

1
School of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
3
UniLaSalle, AGHYLE, 60026 Beauvais Cedex, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132263
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
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Abstract

Rare earth elements (REE) are known to be emerging contaminants in hydrosphere, but roles of hydrous manganese oxyhydroxides (HMO) in REE transport in groundwater remains unknown. In this study, groundwater was sampled along a flow path in the North China Plain to determine the behavior of REE surface complexation to HMO by a modeling and field study approach. Results show that the proportion of neodymium (Nd) complexed by HMO ranges from 0.2% to 95.8%, and from 0.3% to 99.6% in shallow groundwater and deep groundwater, respectively. The amount of complexed REE increases along the flow path. REE bound to HMO exhibit decreasing trends with increasing atomic number. The process was determined to be independent of pH, HMO content, and metal loading. This finding further demonstrates HMO-REE complexation plays a key role in transport of REE in groundwater through preferential scavenging of light REE (LREE) over heavy REE (HREE). Nevertheless, carbonate ligands appear to be robust competitors in reducing the amount of REE sorbed to HMO when solution pH rises above 8.0. Assuming that 50% of Mn concentration occurs as HMO, the amount of complexed REE was predicted to show a more marked decrease in LREE compared to that of HREE. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lanthanides; China; Sorption; Modeling; Aquifer; Cerium anomaly; Critical zone Lanthanides; China; Sorption; Modeling; Aquifer; Cerium anomaly; Critical zone
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Liu, H.; Guo, H.; Pourret, O.; Chen, Y.; Yuan, R. Role of Manganese Oxyhydroxides in the Transport of Rare Earth Elements Along a Groundwater Flow Path. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2263.

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